Record turnout of voters in Kingston’s 2020 local election
A record number of voters turned out for the 2020 Kingston City Council general election with almost 85% of enrolled voters having their say, well surpassing the state average of 81.4%.
According to the report by the Victorian Election Commission, the turnout was also a significant increase from the 2016 election, where just 76% of voters turned out to vote.
Kingston Mayor Steve Staikos said he was thrilled with the results which showed Kingston residents were particularly engaged when it came to their local municipality.
“The record participation shows just how much our community cares about making Kingston the best place to live, work and play, and in ensuring they have a say in electing a Council that will represent them and their interests,” said Cr Staikos.
“This is a real win for democracy but also shows the trust our community has in us as their elected Councillors to deliver the services and invest in community facilities that are important to them.”
Following recent changes to the Local Government Act, the three-ward structure at the City of Kingston was replaced with 11 single-member wards.
“The new ward structure may have played a role in increasing participation with a smaller number of candidates running for each ward,” said Cr Staikos. “Ballot papers were also accepted for an extra week for this election due to COVID-related postage delays, so that may have played a part in encouraging more people to vote as well.”
The VEC Election Report detailed several voter engagement programs and initiatives that were run ahead of the 2020 Local Government elections aimed at helping to boost and remove barriers to participation. A new social media campaign was also piloted in some selected councils to encourage engagement in the elections for those aged 18-29.